Piano repair technicians keep us in tune with the sound of music. Sometimes
referred to as the "unseen artists," these musically minded technicians maintain,
repair, rebuild and tune pianos. They fix or replace broken keys, strings,
action parts and soundboards.
Sometimes it's necessary to bring the piano to the shop, but for the most
part the technician will travel to the piano, so a certain amount of travel
is required. They spend time in their clients' homes, or wherever else you
might find a piano.
The Piano Manufacturers Association International says a new piano should
be tuned three times during its first year of use. "If a piano is allowed
to stand for long periods of time without service, it will go further and
further out of tune," the association warns.
"More time and expense will be required to achieve an accurate tuning."
Paul A. Brown, a registered piano technician (RPT), notes that piano technology
isn't regulated. "Many hobbyists go out and buy books on tuning and try tuning
immediately, without any formal training. There are thousands of these people
out there. One must always look for qualifications when hiring a tuner. Usually,
if they have documents showing they are members of the Piano Technicians Guild,
that is universally acceptable."
Piano technicians can work a 40-hour week or a 20-hour week. A lot depends
on a technician's clientele and contacts. Since most are self-employed, marketing
skills are necessary to build a successful business.